Girls soccer: Jefferson Academy scores late to beat Peak to Peak

LAFAYETTE — Peak to Peak coach Joe Swanson let out a groan knowing that his team had let one get away.

In stark contrast, Jefferson Academy’s bench and coach Denise Sutton let out a huge sigh a relief.

In a Class 3A top-10 match between two of the better teams in the overly fantastic Metropolitan League, where every match matters, the No. 3 Jaguars overcame an injury to their starting goalkeeper Kassidy Hastings in the first half and bagged a goal in the 75th minute to beat the Pumas 1-0.

“I think the girls realized that we needed to protect our goal box even harder,” said Sutton, whose Jaguars improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the league. “We made some changes on the field, just moving people around, but I love the fact that our girls are versatile.

“Peak to Peak coming in, we knew was going to be a little tougher and we are glad to come out of here with a win.”

Peak to Peak had its moments, especially in the first half. The Pumas didn’t create much traffic or many threats on goal, but gave themselves chances with corner kicks.

It was on the Pumas’ third and final corner of the first half when Hastings got hurt. On a scramble just outside her left goal post, the junior keeper appeared to take a knee to the lower back/kidney area and stayed prone one the pitch for a number of minutes.

She was eventually carried back tot he bench by assistant coach Hannah Wilson and Peak to Peak athletic director Peter Chandler before being taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

The Jags were magnificent in protecting Hastings’ freshman replacement Michaelah Ingalls, who has been training at the position for just three weeks. Ingalls faced just one shot in her 50 minutes of work.

“Our touch was really off tonight and I thought it hurt us. And that is not a knock on them, but it’s a knock on us,” said Swanson, who team drops to 3-3-1 overall and 1-1 in the Metro. “Their defense was everywhere it needed to be. We’d make those bad touches and boy, they were right there to fend them off.”

It wasn’t until the final 20 minutes of the match that a desperate Jags midfield began to create more chances up front for Heidi Wendt, Alycia Wright and the other Jefferson Academy weapons.

Wendt twice had shots saved in the final 30 minutes. A rocket was pushed over the bar by Pumas keeper Sarah Shepherd, and later she was denied on the doorstep. Freshman Rachel Schlagel also had a shot deflected over the bar.

Finally with under six minutes to play, the Jags got a direct free kick and made the Pumas pay. Marissa Chapman was able to spring Wendt free and she beat Shepherd inside her left post.

“It all just connected and we all came together and we were really talking,” Wendt said. “The first half we weren’t clicking as well and once we made those adjustments it all sort of fell into place.”

It was the kind of goal that Swanson hated to see.

“I really thought we were headed for an extra 20 minutes, but that is a freshman learning, and I have three across the back, so it’s a learning process back there,” he said. “To see us get beat on the goal we got beat on is disappointing for me as a coach, because you’d like to think we’d defend it better than that, but it’s soccer and those things happen.”

Neither team will think too much further about Thursday night’s match. Jefferson Academy will host Sterling — a team just outside the top ten looking for a signature win — on Saturday. The Pumas will be gearing up for No. 1 Colorado Academy on Tuesday.

Follow Jon on Twitter: twitter.com/JonEYunt

Jefferson Academy 1, Peak to Peak 0

At Peak to Peak

Jefferson Academy (6-0, 3-0) 0 1 — 1
Peak to Peak (3-3-1, 1-1) 0 0 — 0

Goal (assist) — Jefferson Academy: Heidi Wendt (Emily McParland), 75th

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Jefferson Academy: Kassidy Hastings (30-0-0); Michaelah Ingalls (50-0-1); Peak to Peak: Sarah Shepherd (80-1-5).